Nordic NMR Network

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is one of the two major methods used for structural characterization of biological macromolecules (proteins, DNA, RNA) on an atomic level. More than 9.000 of the 73.000 protein structures known today have been determined with NMR methods. The technique is also used to study dynamic events and weak interaction between proteins and ligands at physiologically relevant conditions.

In cutting-edge structural biology, there are almost no 'low-hanging fruit' in terms of projects anymore. Membrane proteins, intrinsically disordered proteins, toxic and unstable proteins are rather the norm for projects with potential high scientific impact. Attaining proficiency in handling these kinds of projects inevitably leads to generation of specialized niches with very high competence in a narrow field. For NMR research, this entails specialization in the whole workflow, going from choice of sample production and isotopic labelling scheme, to NMR spectrometer choice (solid-state or solution) and data acquisition and analysis strategy. Exchange of information between different NMR infrastructures with regard to such specialized know-how is naturally both desirable and necessary to keep up with the pace of NMR structural biology research on an international level.

The current proposal of setting up a Nordic NMR Network, connecting infrastructures in Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden, is a first step in establishing a Nordic NMR platform able to compete with large European and international NMR centres. The Network would comprise a well distributed infrastructure with highly specialized competences at each site. The possibilities for exchange of knowledge and good practice in all things NMR is evident and the network will be a first step in establishing stronger connections between the different NMR communities through the infrastructures. The aim of the network will be to increase the competence of the infrastructure staff, promote the use of the infrastructures, train young scientists and in the long run create a Nordic NMR platform within the ESFRI project INSTRUCT. The proposed plan for the network during 2014 and 2016 involves the generation of a web portal, arranging 3 internal competence-building workshops and 10 hands-on workshops on NMR methodology and specific areas of NMR research as well as setting up annual managing committee meetings.

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Project number: 68945